It starts right around the end of April, as the submission deadline approaches, and I just can’t help imagining what kinds of plays were written. Reading them is simply a thrilling experience and I am always left astounded not only by the pieces but by the subtle commonality that is expressed through hundreds of one-minutes plays submitted from around the world. We think and feel much the same things, clandestine emotions and haunting experiences, no matter where we were born.
Then the real fun begins, the process I feel so lucky to be a part of: bringing those pieces to life. You wouldn’t believe how deeply a director and cast can delve into sixty seconds worth of text. For the US contingent, three directors and thirteen actors and actresses, the work itself is an impending energy, always lurking over our shoulders as we hustle from room to room, making discoveries and breakthroughs just as our time runs out…it’s frustrating, rewarding, exhausting and exhilarating.
Oh, but it’s not over. All of the reading and rehearsing, the planning and coordinating, everything we’ve worked toward culminates with the festival itself. 50 plays in 50 minutes is a frenetic ride and the audience, a mix of dedicated returnees and excited first-timers, has never faltered in creating that perfect atmosphere, a mixture of uninhibited laughter, unexpected silences and unbridled enjoyment.